Friday, December 26, 2008

The Grinch and other random musings.

[Brace yourself -- this could be lengthy]

As you may have noticed by my lack of yule-themed posts, I was a major Grinch this year. No tree, no cards and no Christmas cheer. [Merry belated Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, ect.] I can think of a variety of excuses: I worked through Thanksgiving so it never really felt like Christmas, the weather didn't suit the holiday-- but I think it all comes back to one reason. It's a central theme on this blog. I'm sure you can guess it.

The holidays are just reminder that another year has come and gone with out a baby - in my arms or in my belly. I can't help but think about how this could be our second Christmas with a baby if we'd gotten pregnant when we started 'trying'. I won't dwell too much on that -- same song, different verse. But, I have been thinking that it's about time that Heath and I are a little more pro-active for Baby Hunt 2009 [that's what I'll call it now ;) ]. It seems like all of these opportunities are just a few steps away...but we never take that next step to put things in motion. Between failed adoptions, IVF financing, the cost of agency adoptions -- it all seems out of our reach. So, rather than sit and wait for something to fall in our laps, I think it's time to take some action.

I want to go ahead and have a home study and become approved foster parents. I'm not sure where I think this will take us, but I just feel led to do it. I'm not quite sure where Heath stands on it. If you know us, you know that I usually make decision for 'us' and he's none the wiser. I mentioned it, but we've yet to have a serious conversation about it.

You might be wondering (but you probably aren't) what brought me to make this decision. I'm going to tell you whether you care of not. You're reading this, so I assume you care. I worked last Saturday in the ER. When I came in for my shift, there was a beautiful little girl - probably 2 months old - that was waiting for the police to take her to the shelter. Apparently her parents (I use that term loosely) had gotten drunk, started fighting, and she was stuck in the middle. The story was that dad dropped her and then fell on top of her, but the bruises told a different story. It broke my heart knowing that she would be spending the night in a shelter. I held her for about an hour. The nurses chipped in and bought her a nice warm long sleeved onsie from the gift shop to replace the thin, stained Halloween onsie she came in wearing. I literally begged the police officer to just let me take her. I'm a doctor. I'm clean. I'll love on her and take good care of her, I promise. It's better than the shelter. But, of course they had no choice but to take her.

I couldn't help but think how easy it could have been if we'd already had our home study done and were licensed to foster. Hold up - before you start thinking that I was delusional in thinking that I could whisk this baby away and keep her, it wasn't like that. I knew good and well that she would quickly go back to her parents. It wasn't about keeping her to be mine. It was about loving on her for 24 hours or longer so that she wouldn't have to spend the night in a shelter. So, for the first time - it wasn't about me, and a baby for Heath and I - it was just about being a temporary shelter and loving parent to this baby when she needed it. And, I wondered if I could do that for other babies. In the meantime. Until God has a baby for us for keeps. I feel like I'm in a profession where I will, obviously, come across this a lot.

And, of course, I know it could be a difficult situation for someone who wants a baby as badly as we do. It could be a string of heartache as we grow attached and each baby is taken from us to be given back to a parent who surely couldn't love her like we do. But, when I was holding that little girl, it didn't feel like I wanted her to keep. I just wanted to protect her.

Not real sure how that will turn out. It seems to be a trend where if I blog about something, it never comes true. Maybe I should worry about that. But, either way, I'll keep you posted.


mrs.leah.maria said...

At least I'm in good company, while I don't think you are/were a grinch or necessarily that I went that far either, I understand.

All I can say is a very long and drawn out iiiiiiinterestttiingg. I'm still praying for you you my dear and am very intrigued by this turn.

Shannon said...


I mostly just lurk on your blog but I wanted to let you know that I commend you for your attitude during these times. Fostering although heart breaking is something needed here in the states. I have put a post it note on my computer screen to remind me to pray for you and your husband everyday. I truly hope that someday very soon that you will have your very own forever baby.

Meredith said...

I was also a bit of a grinch this year (no tree for us either).

You are incredible for even considering becoming a foster parent. I work directly with foster parents, and it is INCREDIBLY tough stuff.

My only bits of advice are this: some states have two different "foster" pools--one pool is for parents looking to adopt through foster care. The second is a pool of people who do NOT intend to adopt. Thus, children who are expected to return to their parents are often placed in the latter pool. Find out if your state has two such pools, and just make sure you advocate to be placed in the one that you think best fits your intentions.

I'll be thinking about you a lot in the coming months!

patrick and sarah m said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. That's great that you guys are looking at fostering...we're in the middle of the application process ourselves...from reading your blog, seems we are in the same place here lately! Hang in there girl...I know something will work out for ya'll!

Abby said...

Erin, I think you are so honorable to want to foster. Many of the children I work with have been put in foster homes only to become adopted by those fister parents. I run into cases each day of children that need a good home and I know you and Heath could provide that! I am praying for you!

Julia said...

How honorable and incredibly compassionate you are, Erin. I wish you luck in this journey and know it will all work out for the best. Not everyone would choose to be so pro-active and I admire you for that characteristic. Merry Christmas, even if you are feeling Grinch-y. :)

Christine said...

I'm a lurker. I am finishing school in anesthesia and just recently starting trying to conceive with my husband. I know everyone probably says this to you...but everything happens for a reason. I truly believe this. We never understand now why things are happening the way they are..but later on it all makes sense. Hang in there...good things will come your way soon..hopefully in baby blankets! :)

Also no tree for us either...its been a rough holiday season..cheers to 2009! haha

The Hawkins' said...

You don't know me but I am a friend of a friend of your and I am going through all of this stuff with you. My husband and I have been trying for over 3 years now and have thought about foster parenting. I am a nurse so I know about seeing all of those poor innocent victims, and I say "GO FOR IT!" You don't have anything to loose and you will be a n angel in some babies lives even if for a short while.

Team Long said...

Erin You have such a big heart! It makes me smile to know that there are awesome Dr.'s out there like you that will love and take care of the helpless children in situations like this one! They all deserve to feel love! Good Luck on the home study! I will still keep you in my prayers!

HBee said...

Ah sweets, I love your heart. I'm thinking about you and your hubby as you consider this decision.

Bryelle Sullivan said...

After reading your post & looking over your Journey section. I felt the need to send you some HUGS! :)
I will be praying for you in hopes that you will be able to cradle a baby in your arms in 2009!

Bluebird said...

Erin, good luck with!

Although being a foster parent could be really difficult for a number of reasons, I'm sure it would also be fulfilling.

If/when you do get a home might also want to check our Project Cuddle ( if you are thinking about adoption. You may have already heard about the organization, but if you choose to become a rescue family then the adoption process is free of charge.

Anyways...I hope 2009 is a great year for you. I think you have a great attitude, and I'm sure great things are to come.

Shannon said...

Erin - I just wanted to check in with you and let you know that I'm continuing to pray for you.

I hope that you are doing well.

prepinparadise said...

It's clear you would make a wonderful parent, and I'm certain that God will make that happen when the time is right. Easy for me to say, right? :) My husband and I have been trying, unsuccessfully, for almost a year now, so I cannot imagine how frustrated and heartbroken you must be after 2 years. Please know that you are wished much love, joy and peace.